COCKE COUNTY, Tenn. (WATE) — The so-called “Stairway to Heroin” is now shut down and four people are behind bars, according to Cocke County Sheriff’s Office.

One officer said four words describe the state of Cocke Counties battle against illicit drugs, and are a big reason why Thursday’s bust is a big deal: “It’s at it’s worst.”

It stemmed from a growing problem in Cocke County, but it is one members of the Sheriff’s Office and other law enforcement agencies are wanting to crack down on. The operation that ended the “Stairway to Heroin” took two months and was made possible by the work of undercover officers.

“I use to work at a neighboring agency and from there to here is just night and day,” one Cocke County undercover officer said. “It’s a problem, obviously you can’t stop the drugs but you can help contain it and that’s what we are trying to do.”

In this effort to try and contain the issue, four people were arrested; David Shults, 56, was charged with possession of Methamphetamine with intent to sell, deliver and manufacture; Jackie Wilson, 44, was charged with two counts of possession of a schedule one narcotic, possession of Methamphetamine and unlawful carrying or possession of a weapon; Daniel Messer and Kellie Roberts, 36 were charged with probation violations.

Operations like the one that happened Thursday take a lot of preparation prior to the execution.

“We’ve used a confidential informant to go in and make these drug buys. We use money that’s from the Cocke County Sheriff’s Office to facilitate these drug buys,” the officer said. “What they do is they’ll bring back the narcotics that were there to purchase and after so many that we see that consistency there, that’s when we draw up a search warrant.”

For more than two months, that confidential informant bought and delivered the drugs to the Cocke County Sheriff’s Office prior to them serving a narcotics warrant.

Thursday, officers with the Newport Police Department, ATF agents and deputies with the Cocke County Sheriff’s Office seized 127 grams of Methamphetamine, 5 grams of Heroin, an LSD strip, Marijuana, a handgun with ammunition and $843 in cash.

In a job where there is a lot of danger involved, situations like these are all the more stressful.

“It’s unknown, you never know. It could go good one day and it could go bad the other day. In this incident, there was a firearm found next to somebody when we made entry into the residence.”

Thursday just happened to be one of those good days.

“I think they were caught by surprise. Early in the morning, everyone was still sleeping. So, it went smooth, very smooth.”

All four individuals were taken into custody without incident and are now being held in the Cocke County jail.